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ARA, the Enigma:


An interview with the first Reputable female talking drummer in the world whose drumming career span over 4 decades in the course of which she performed for World notables like Queen Elizabeth of England, ex-American President Bill Clinton, ex-Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, Black Mayors Caucus in America, Evander Holyfield, Wesley Snipes and Broadway Executives to mention a few.

The Queen of Drums whose voyage into musical distinction began at tender age 5 is also the Cultural Ambassador of the Ooni of Ife.

She was talked-to by Albert Oluseyi Olukotun, Managing Editor, Royal Heritage Africa magazine. Excerpts:

Yankari National Park:

Wonder in the Savannah

Located around the Gagi River about 90 kilometres south-east of Bauchi, Capital city of Bauchi State in North-Eastern Nigeria, Yankari National Park which houses the Yankari Park and Wikki Warm Spring is the pioneer and biggest National Park in Nigeria. It was established in 1956 as a Game Reserve and opened to the public six years after precisely December 1, 1962. The Park occupies an area of about 2,244 square kilometres of savannah woodlands and an important refuge for over 50 species of mammal including: African Bush Elephant, African Buffalo, variety of Monkeys, Roan Antelope, Bush Buck, Crocodile and Hippopotamus. Lions are occasionally seen…

Her Highness

Olori Oladunni Olamide Olubanke Sijuwade

In many parts of the world, women have exhibited extra ordinary leadership qualities and made the difference between success and failure in the fortune of their nations and even families.

Back home in Nigeria, talented women down the ages have made significant impact in addition to household management in tradition, politics and economy. A brief excursion to Nigeria history reveals a number of talented women in leadership position. Queen Amina of Zazzau led men to conquer vast expanse of territory to the admiration of her male counterparts. Queen Idia of Benin Kingdom is famous today not just because she was the mother of Oba Esigie of Benin but for being a warrior in her own right. Madam Tinubu in Lagos and Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti of Abeokuta played similar roles in the western part of Nigeria…



Regarded as the most important, and celebrated ceremony in Ile-Ife, ‘Olojo’ festival marks the climax of series of cultural and traditional events involving spiritual cleansing and purification, meditation and prayers, conservation and transformation into mystical conception of deity in human form i.e. ‘Orisa’ a status the Ooni instantly assumed after donning the ‘Aare’ crown. ‘Aare’ represents a visible symbol of authority of the Ooni and the unity of lfe as the cradle, holy city and source of the Yoruba race. It is believed to possess some supernatural power. Thus, its presence among the people is said to facilitate answers to their prayers.

            This festival of grandeur is a flash back and visions from a historical transfer of reign in human history dedicated to the worship of ‘Ogun’ widely believed to have led the 201 deities that descended with Oduduwa from the heavens to Ile-ife and a past Monarch of same.

            As one of the indispensable deities, its possession of iron cutlass was said to have paved way for other deities hence the appellation ‘Pathfinder’. As such, Ogun festival is being celebrated throughout Yoruba land and amongst the Yoruba descents worldwide.

Olojo festival has created a positive window through which the entire world now sees the Yoruba race



The place of Ofala festival in the history of Onitsha Kingdom cannot be over emphasized. It is one of the most important and most celebrated festivals in Onitsha today and stands at the centre of the Monarchy.

And for thousands of the Onicha Ado N’idu who throng home to celebrate the annual festival, the feel of the finest rhythm of culture and festivity is always a common experience. The cascading tempo of loud drumbeat, enthralling traditional hymn and parading train of age-grade group thronged the Ime Obi with military passion wading through a sea of heads and taking turn to pay homage to the Obi who in turn waved and offered prayers.

Ofala which is the annual re-emergence, ‘Inyepu  Ukwu na nlo Eze’ of Obi from seclusion, ‘Inye Ukwu Na Nlo’ of communal mourning during which period he undergoes  spiritual cleansing and purification, meditating with the gods and spirits not only for himself but subjects that have passed on in the outgoing year. The Obi performs the festival after the religious ceremony of ‘Mgbapu Afa Obodo’.

The festival marks the end of an annual circle and ushering in of another. The Obi’s re-appearance demonstrates that the Monarch has survived another year in atonement for the sins and misdeeds of the people of Onitsha Kingdom.

In modern times, the festival happens to be one of the rare opportunities for the Onitsha people to see their much revered Monarch who is rarely seen in public in his arena, ‘Ime Obi’.

Above all, it is a time the Obi himself and his subjects re-unite to pledge their cooperation and loyalty to his reign




The ceremonial life of Owo Kingdom revolves round several festivities each representing the quality of the socio-cultural life of the Kingdom’s citizenry as well as the projection of the rich tradition and cultural heritage. Major amongst these is the Igogo festival.

Igogo festival dates back to between 1340 to 1356 AD and was founded by Olowo Renrengenjen who reigned in Owo Kingdom same time. It was at first called Oronsen festival because it was built around the annual sacrifice demanded by Queen (Yeye) Oronsen, a Princess from Afo married to Olowo Renrengenjen at Okiti Asegbo.

Yeye Oronsen was a very quiet and beautiful Princess who got the attention of Olowo Renrengenjen much more than any of his many wives before her. This concern however excited jealousy from his other wives.

Yeye Oronsen’s father told the Olowo of three taboos which she observed: A head load of firewood was not to be thrown down in her presence, Water was not to be split before her and she should not hear the sound of Okro being ground on a grinding stone. As such, Yeye Oronsen was given a special quarters in the palace and a maid to ensure the taboos were not broken.

Shortly after, Olowo Renrengenjen went out to war. No sooner he was gone, Yeye Oluwa, the senior wife of the Olowo called together the other wives to a meeting to get rid of Yeye Oronsen and promised to find out what the taboos were. Yeye Oluwa later bought the necessary information about the taboos from Yeye Oronsen’s maid for a meal of mashed yam. Together with the other wives, she connived to break them and immediately sent for Yeye Oronsen and on her arrival, the taboos were broken.

This compelled Yeye Oronsen to leave the palace. She fled to Olisagho’s house, stopped and beat her palm on the wall to bid him goodbye. Unknown to her, her ring slipped off her finger and fell on the ground. She went further through ‘Igbo Ogwata’ where she dropped her hair-pin and advanced further to stop and rest…


Prof. Rotimi Emmanuel Aluko, 


Professor Rotimi Emmanuel Aluko, PhD, CFS, FCIFST, FIFT, FAOCS, is a Nigerian-born Professor at the Department of Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada and the Director, Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

An intriguing personality who has made strong contributions to the development of science and education sector in Nigeria and beyond, Professor Aluko was educated at the University of Lagos, Nigeria where he read and graduated with a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree in Biochemistry in 1982. Thereafter, he attended the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Nigeria from where he read and obtained a Masters (M.Sc.) degree in Biochemistry in 1985. His quest for more knowledge made him enroll for a Doctorate (Ph.D) degree in Food Science at the famous University of Guelph, ON, Canada graduating in 1996.

A distinguished scholar and seasoned professional, Professor Aluko who specializes in protein chemistry, food enzymology, functional foods and nutraceuticals as well as QSAR of bioactive peptides has served previously as Research Fellow, Institute for Agricultural Research, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria between 1986 and 1991 before moving to Canada where he has variously served for about two and a half decades as University Teacher, Administrator and Researcher.

Pottery-Making in Giri

Federal Capital Territory, Nigeria

Giri-Shinka (Shinka) is a small community located on the Gwagwalada/Zuba highway in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) of Nigeria. It is a sister community to Giri-Tunkunya popularly known as Giri Junction.

The people of Shinka are Gwari speaking and has abundant cultural heritage characterized by colourful festivals as well as an area naturally blessed with both human and natural resources.

Over the years, the people of Giri-Shinka have developed a strong tradition for the art of pottery-making which is as old as the Gwari settlement itself…

His Royal Highness,

Sir (Alhaji) Dr. Ado Bayero, CFR, LLD, JP

Emir of Kano (1963 to 2014)
1930 to 2014

His Royal Highness, Sir, (Alhaji) Dr. Ado Bayero, CFR, LLD, JP was born on July 25, 1930 in Kano. He was Emir of Kano for 51 solid years having ascended the throne of his forebears in 1963 (succeeding His Royal Highness, Alhaji Muhammadu Inuwa) until his demise on June 6, 2014 at age 84. He was the son of His Royal Highness, Alhaji Abdullahi Bayero Dan Muhammad Abbas, a past Emir of Kano who reigned for 27 years. Bayero was a former Nigerian Ambassador to Senegal and the 13th Fulani Emir since the Fulani war of Uthman Dan Fodio when the ancient Hausa Kingdom was captured by the Jihadists as well as the 56th ruler of the ancient city…

Amb. (Chief) Olayinka Olasehinde Simoyan, mni       

Basorun of Egbeland
Omoba ni Ketu, Republic of Benin
1934 t0 2019

Ambassador (Chief) Olayinka Olasehinde Simoyan, mni, career diplomat, seasoned administrator, accomplished author, journalist, politician, erudite scholar, community leader, sports enthusiast, devote Christian, banker and linguist was a man of many parts.

Born to the family of Pa Angus Aremu and Madam Yeyeolu Simoyan (both of blessed memory) on February 1, 1934 in Egbe, Yagba West Local Government Area of Kogi State Nigeria, Chief Simoyan had from youth exhibited leadership qualities and displayed a high degree of honesty, hard work and dedication.

A pacesetter in community development, he was one rare breed whose reputation was anchored on his boundless generousity. His detribalized status evoked, love, peace and admiration…